Sonic Screwdriver -->

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Timey-Wimey Ball

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually — from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint — it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly... timey-wimey... stuff."
— The Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who, "Blink"

Excepting mundane travel from the past to the future at a rate of one second per second, no human has ever experienced Time Travel first hand. Indeed, we don't know if it's even possible. So debating which time traveltheory is right is much like trying to find the best flavor of Kool-Aid. Fans are aware and accepting of this, just like no one minds when Our Monsters Are Different, or two different series have different rules for magic, so long as the series' own internal rules are consistent.

Of course, sometimes they aren't. The Timey Wimey Ball is the result of a series or movie where the writers are a wee bit confused or forgetful about exactly which kind of time travel can happen, sometimes within the span of one episode! One day You Can't Fight Fate (or at least not without the Butterfly of Doom coming along), but the next you can Screw Destiny and Set Right What Once Went Wrong by killing Hitler and changing the past for the better. Especially headachy because there's no Temporal Paradox, or if it's totally arbitrary.

The standard Hand Wave (if one is given) is that time is very complicated and the particulars of the situation affect how the rules apply in ways that a layperson wouldn't understand. Which is one of the many reasons why some people absolutely frickin' HATE time travel...

Despite the similar images the name might conjure, this is unrelated to Swirly Energy Thingy (although a Swirly Energy Thingy might very well have Timey Wimey effects). Likewise, a Continuity Snarl is not necessarily related, though the presence of Time Travel induced retcons can certainly make a character's past seemlike a tangled up ball of yarn.

Compare Close Enough Timeline. Occasionally, anything involving this may decide to pull out the Temporal Paradox card. A Time Crash is what happens when this isn't in play. See also Narnia Time. Totally unrelated to ball-shaped behavior tropes and possibly The Multiverse. You had better hope it is unrelated to Happy Fun Ball.

The original article contains spoilers and is here.

"Timey Wimey Ball." TV Tropes and Idioms. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2013 <>.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be kind while commenting. Vile comments will be removed upon their discovery.